“Mama said a lot of things and be thankful was the one she never minded saying twice”
- Drive-By Truckers
Wow, I’m not really sure where to even start with this. So, since she one of the only people who reads my blog, I’m going to write this one to my best friend forever/grandmother.
I did the thing again. You know the thing where I chase bands around. I’m obsessed with pursuing an unrealistic dream of a photography career in music, and this time I traveled down to Athens, Georgia to a three-night hometown show put on by one of my favorite bands: the Drive-By Truckers. I’ve never seen them before and I always told myself that when I finally did? It would be at the HeAthen Homecoming. HeAthen Homecoming is THEIR show. They invite the openers and fans come from far and wide to see the majority of their massive, stunning discography performed in three nights.
As you know, I had initially planned on only staying and going to the show one night. Well, as the world would have it, I met hands-down some of the most incredible people I’ve ever encountered in my life. At the show the first night, I snapped photos, drank (only a little, pinky swear), and smoked cigarettes with people that I felt like I had known for years. Leaving the show—which had been an almost religious experience, if you will—I was assuming I would never see these folks again in all my days. Sad, yet overwhelmed with joy from the music, I head back to my hotel room and call it a night.
Having never been to Athens, GA before I decide to take a stroll with my camera and grab some food before heading back to Columbus, OH. Right there on the street, I run into my new-found friends from the night before and they invite me to join them for lunch. We start talking about cameras, and photos, and they ask if I want to stick around and shoot for an upcoming project they are working on. So of course, I immediately agree! As the day progresses, I’m meeting so many people that are the utmost genuine in every sense of the word and having the greatest afternoon in the Georgia sun drinking beer (only a little, pinky swear). I’m surrounded by so many people with similar passions and ideals, it feels like I’m with family. I’m in a place where my band t-shirts make sense and the people actually laugh at my jokes. They couldn’t believe I came all the way down from Ohio to just photograph and see just one (my first) Drive-By Truckers show.
…This is the part where I wish I had a countdown. Within 15 minutes, I had photo passes to photograph the rest of the weekend, a beautiful place to stay, and a plane ticket home. That’s right, a plane ticket. Holy shit it all happened so fast. The HeAthens let me into their lives with open arms and wanted me to experience and photograph the rest of Homecoming. I was blown away at the willingness and generosity of everyone I was surrounded by. You don’t just meet these people everyday, and here they all were in one room. The rest of the weekend was just an absolute treasure. I’m going to rave about it forever. I had one of the best times I’ve ever had in my entire life. I am beyond grateful for the experience and everyone there that made sure I got to have it. Music brings people together, and great music brings even greater people together. The HeAthens are bonded by their spectacular selfless hearts, sincerity, and the mother fucking Drive-By Truckers.
Love You Always,
P.S. Always go to the show